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The £2m Weaver's Yard project.
Rebecca Wayman

£2m remodelling project for historic mills near Leeds now underway

Work has begun on a £2m project which is set to transform the historic Sunny Bank Mills complex in Farsley.

The project, named Weaver’s Yard, is regenerating the mills which were once home to Emmerdale and Heartbeat. The programme has created working and living space designed to meet modern-day needs and lifestyles.

Owners and directors John and William Gaunt have both invested £7m in Sunny Bank Mills during the past decade, regenerating the 10-acre site, near Leeds.

The central part of the estate is now being redesigned to create open spaces and reestablish the prominence of this historic building. Leeds-based CBM Construction is the main contractor, with work scheduled for completion within one year.

John Gaunt said: “We are embarking on an exciting new stage of the regeneration of Sunny Bank Mills by selectively demolishing some commercially unviable buildings, totalling 65,000 sq ft, in the heart of the site.

“This is the biggest and most ambitious exciting development yet at Sunny Bank Mills. It will allow us to restore and develop some of the most important buildings at Sunny Banks Mills, such as the Old Woollen Mill, the oldest building on site, dating back to 1829.

“It is currently hemmed in on all sides. This will enable us to restore other buildings on site, including The Twisting Gallery and The Old Dyehouse. It will also transform the visibility, accessibility and parking at Sunny Bank Mills.”

William added that the duo has already created 355 jobs at Sunny Bank Mills, with over 70 companies on the site. The next phase will be delivered over the next few years.

Mike Haigh of Leeds-based property consultants Dove Haigh Phillips, who are joint marketing agents of the site with the Leeds office of JLL, said that this was one of the most significant mill regeneration projects currently being undertaken in Yorkshire.

He concluded: “This is a genuinely exciting development. Steeped in history and with massive potential, Sunny Bank Mills is becoming one of the prime business locations in the West Leeds area.”

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